Shoprite looks to IPP’s for renewable energy wheeling projects

  • The Shoprite Group has almost doubled the amount of renewable energy used in its operations to 103 234MWh (FY 2022: 54 138 MWh) last year (2023).
  • It has achieved this by increasing the amount of renewable energy bought from landlords and other suppliers by 91%.

“We have also reduced electricity consumption by 161 million kWh through our LED lamp replacement project, and our network of solar-panel installations now cover the equivalent of more than 26 soccer-fields,” says the Shoprite Group’s CSI & Sustainability Manager, Sanjeev Raghubir.

The Group’s solar photovoltaic (PV) facilities now generate enough clean energy to power nearly 4 800 homes for a year, and it is the only African company to have earned a place on the Carbon Disclosure Project’s Supplier Engagement Leaderboard, for taking action to measure and reduce climate risk within its supply chain in the 2022 financial year.

The retailer’s three-pronged approach includes reducing consumption, expanding its installed capacity of renewables and purchasing electricity in collaboration with independent power producers (IPPs).

“We’ve increased the amount of electricity we’re buying from landlords and other suppliers by 91%. That’s progress by any measure. The next step is wheeling: buying electricity from an IPP through the existing transmission network,” said Raghubir. Achieving that would be a massive step forward, added Raghubir, but will require greater collaboration between various stakeholders to establish a national wheeling framework.

“In the interim, we will continue to improve energy efficiency wherever we can, and to this end the Group has embarked on a refrigeration project. We’ll also continue to install solar wherever its viable, whether on rooftops or carports.

“At the Shoprite Group we’ve set and are pursuing science-based targets to reduce our carbon emissions throughout our operations – in stores, distribution centres and transportation – with a sense of urgency,” concluded Raghubir.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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